Directing action to maximum energy savings and funding

Certified Measurement and Verification Professional (CMVP) training course gives a credible qualification to evaluate energy management projects of government driven projects and / or financial incentive institutions.

Port Elizabeth was recently the host to the Certified Measurement and Verification Professional (CMVP) training course and certification examination, presented by the Energy Training Foundation (EnTF), the sole Southern African region training provider of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), the 36-year old US-based organisation.

The value of CMVP in South Africa gives a credible qualification to evaluate energy management projects of government driven projects and / or financial incentive institutions. Delegates had varied reasons for attending the course, from being able to protect energy and water saving project claims from a legal standpoint in court, assess the energy use in buildings and assessing energy saving products, to evaluating independent M&V work to protect the organisations' interests. Some delegates found that municipalities are now asking for M&V reporting to be done by a CMVP for new building regulations like SABS 204 where M&V is required to substantiate energy and water efficiency claims. Transparent M&V has always been a requirement by Eskom DSM/IDM project funding, as well as DoE funded projects, and for energy efficiency tax incentives CMVPs are required to report on energy savings to substantiate claims.

Christo van der Merwe, the course presenter, is highly acclaimed in the field of M&V in South Africa being one of the very first persons to obtain his CMVP qualification locally. He commented that "M&V can verify the performance of energy retrofits and Energy Services Companies (ESCOs) and can facilitate emission trading through enhancing the reliability factor of the results and value of Carbon Emission Reductions." Christo was part of the group that started M&V in South Africa through the North-West University M&V Team so he is well-equipped to transfer knowledge to candidates registering for AEE's CMVP training in South Africa. He continued in support of the importance of M&V, "The true value of M&V is that it enables risk management and provides an assurance function to any energy and water savings claim being made". The credibility of properly administered M&V performed by a CMVP is able to hold water in legal matters and can provide security to financial investments providers.

Although being actively involved in energy saving projects, many of the delegates expressed the course content as quite an eye-opener to what is all involved that can influence the accuracy when measuring energy savings. M&V is clearly not a clear-cut exercise of comparing last year's utility bill to the latest one after a few projects have been rolled-out.

Besides taking cognisance of the various tariff structures at the right times during the M&V process, from understanding the metering and instrumentation requirements, to ensuring the accuracy of the model used to calculate savings, whether interactive effects of retrofits should be considered, the importance of checking the installed retrofit equipment, determining referenced measurements and other required conclusive data to establish a baseline, all form the tip of the iceberg when performing M&V for energy and water savings.

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